Modernist beach homes offer more than just close proximity to the ocean—their clean, bold designs and abundance of natural light serve as extensions of their tranquil landscapes.
They're often constructed to work in harmony with the surrounding environment and to highlight the light, airy qualities found in coastal locales. And for travelers, these rentals offer an opportunity to experience coastal living at its most sublime. Take a look at 10 enticing examples of modernist beachfront vacation homes that you can actually experience yourself.
Kechria Villas in Skiathos, Greece
Designed by architect Nikitas Hatzimichalis, these villas are designed to work in harmony with the complex topography of a lush Greek island on the Aegean Sea. It effectively highlights views of the Skiathos beaches and coast of Pelion. Each villa has its own swimming pool that overlooks the sea and is ensconced by green verandas for added privacy.
Seaside House in Hayama, Japan
Designed by Vincent Yeuh of YJP, the Seaside House was created to act as an experience, rather than simply a building. The continuous flow of the home between indoor/outdoor is intended to highlight man's connection to nature while allowing for a seamless shift between inside and outside living. Located a few steps from the beach, the two buildings that make up the home are constructed of wood and concrete, with elements of traditional Japanese minimalism and echoes of bygone barn structures throughout.
Modern Escape in La Jolla, California
Designed by Tim Golba, this 3,400-square-foot home is walking distance to the La Jolla beaches. The home was constructed as a modernist oasis, with an emphasis on reflecting the peace and tranquility of the La Jolla landscape. The home features disappearing glass walls and a spacious, minimalist interior aesthetic that unites concrete and glass under soaring ceilings and extended outdoor living areas.
The Floating House in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
The Floating House stands above the jungle canopy of Costa Rica and was designed by architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe. It's a short walk to the beach and offers elegance that's rooted in nature and simplicity. The structure is made up of three pods that are connected by elevated, outdoor bridges and walkways. Teak flooring and furniture add natural warmth to the main living areas, which are connected to two upstairs bedrooms and an open-air spa bathroom via a 78-foot walkway. The home also features a lounge framed by Concertina floor-to-ceiling glass doors with expansive views of the ocean and jungle.
Los Cabos Modern in Baja, Mexico
Designed by Campos Leckie to invoke a pure, dream-like quality, this minimalist retreat is situated on a hill above Zippers Beach overlooking the Sea of Cortez. The bold geometric angles stripped down interior, and whitewashed walls allow for maximum light and shadow play throughout the day. The home features a Zen garden, central pool, and a rooftop patio with sweeping views of the ocean and mountains.
The Dune House in Suffolk, United Kingdom
The Dune House is a RIBA Award-winning home created by Living Architecture, a UK-based organization that commissions world-class architects to build holiday rental homes with an overarching goal of expanding the conversation of what constitutes good design. The home, which sits nestled among coastal dunes just steps from the sea, was designed by Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects as a modern take on English seaside buildings. The roof—constructed to echo the style of local dwellings—features orange steel alloy, which reflects the changing colors of the surrounding landscape. The interior is flanked by banks of windows that overlook the sea and sky for a serene and immersive experience.
Aaevego in Nordjylland, Denmark
Located on the western Danish coast within walking distance of the North Sea, this home was designed by Soren Sarup to integrate elements of the surrounding landscape and to highlight natural, contemporary beauty. The interior fuses clean-lined simplicity, an abundance of wood surfaces, and a restrained mix of Danish modern and vintage furniture to create a visually stimulating yet relaxing environment that extends between indoor and outdoor living spaces.
Duck Harbour Cottage in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Originally designed by Jack Hall in the 1960s for Robert Hatch, an editor of The Nation and his wife, the "experimental cottage" is actually a series of separate cubes that are connected to a large central living area via outdoor decks—constructed in such a way that the cottage looks as though it's floating slightly above ground. The home is designed with sweeping views of the Outer Cape and is near some of the highest-rated beaches in the continental U.S.
Baltic Lodges in Dierhagen-Neuhaus, Germany
Located on the sandy dunes of the Baltic coast and just a short walk from the beach, the lodges are comprised of two newly-constructed (2016) "urban cool" wooden homes designed with clean-lined symmetry and a modern color scheme. Each lodge is outfitted with a custom interior and modern furniture by designers such as Minotti, Vitra, and Hans Wegner—along with contemporary art pieces and the latest in smart home technology.
Contemporary Beach Home in Corsica, France
Located steps from the beaches of Corsica, this striking modern beach house was designed by Paris-based architect Vincent Leprince, as a bright and bold reference to the sunshine-washed coastal surroundings. It features living room doors that open onto a terrace with panoramic views, and that leads directly to the beach. The home is tastefully decorated with contemporary furnishings and includes a heated spa with views of the island of Monte Cristo.